“Thunderbolts” is coming to an end again. This time, it’s more of a name change than anything else, with #175 transforming into “Dark Avengers.” But with “Thunderbolts” wrapping up, it’s nice that Jeff Parker and Declan Shalvey are able to conclude the time-travel arc on the book in a satisfying, if perhaps unsurprising manner.
Parker injects some humor into a comic that is primarily a scramble to find a solution to a bad situation (Fixer accidentally killing his younger self last month). Ghost’s reasoning on why this particular phenomenon for violating the timestream has never been seen before is rather hysterical, for example, and one of Moonstone’s schemes is particularly fantastic.
But as for the main resolution on fixing the problem with Fixer, Parker tips his hand a bit too early thanks to his plot for Moonstone; it spells out how to solve the problem if you hadn’t guessed it already and it means that when we finally get to that point of the comic it feels a little less inventive than it otherwise might have been. It’s a satisfying (and slightly evil) solution to the problem, but at the same time one wishes that it had a little more surprise or punch. Still, it’s a resolution and I appreciate that.
Some parts of “Thunderbolts” don’t seem to get any sort of real resolution, though, which makes me hope that they’ll carry on into “Dark Avengers.” Man-Thing’s current status is still not entirely clear (especially on why it made the time-travel go so crazy), after all, and it still feels like poor Troll has a story that’s about to kick into high gear, but has yet to actually do so.
Shalvey has done a good job as the regular fill-in artist for “Thunderbolts” and the art is nice here. There are little moments that I particularly loved, like the depiction of the Habitat area of the Thunderbolts Tower, and the implosion of the universe wiping out Manhattan looks wonderfully apocalyptic in that big two-page spread early on. Shalvey and Frank Martin Jr. work well together and hopefully Shalvey will be back to pitch in on “Dark Avengers,” too.
Hopefully, “Dark Avengers” will be little more than a name change for a book that’s been a lot of fun to read the last couple of years. Right now, though, it feels like we’re missing a bit of an epilogue to the time-travel story, and with any luck we’ll get that next month. Still, overall, not a bad end to a particularly entertaining story.